Monday, June 24, 2013

Feral Herbs, Wild Horses, and Goat Mozzarella

Yesterday, I came across a pleasant surprise.  I found both Greek oregano and lemon balm growing wild in my yard.  It appears that my previous container gardens didn't contain much and the plants managed to propagate despite my poor gardening efforts.  Lemon balm seems to fair poorly under my ministrations, so seeing some growing wild was pretty cool. 

I picked some and plan on trying out a recipe on lemon balm pudding.   I sounds good, so I figure it'll be fun to try.

Went riding yesterday and had a bit of a rodeo on Rocket.  Rock has been snotty for various reasons.  She first was gimpy because her hooves were tender, so we had her shod.  Then, she decided to become grumpy and prancy on rides, insisting we should turn around and go home.  After a number of headaches, including an attempt to buck and kick DH's horse, I decided to try a new bit on her with a lot more control.  Since I prefer to keep my movements soft, I figured the less pull on the bit, the better.  The first time I took her out, it was like power steering.  Yesterday, she definitely did not like it.  She kept bouncing everywhere.  On the hill down the road, she pitched a fit and proceeded to spin, buck, and thrash around in the trees.  When I finally got her to stop, my legs were shaking.  I made my voice really calm and gave her direction down the hill.  After that, we went up and down the hill several times (I won, I guess), she responded but was still acting flighty.  By the end, I was damn glad to get off of her and she was sweaty.  Given that she behaves snotty with the snaffle as well as the new bit, I'll probably try to diagnose the behavior problems with the trainer and keep the new bit. 

One of the things I learned was that you cannot let your horse win the argument or you lose every time.  I've been consistent and patient, but she falls back on something that she must have learned at one point in her life.  My belief is if you get your horse to move forward one step when the horse is balking, you've won.  Usually, it's several steps until a place where I want to turn, or in the case of a loop, getting her to go the loop.  Turning around has been a real headache since I first got her -- she wants to go back all the time.  Last year, I thought I had broken her bad habits and got her to go consistently.  The few months she had off because of the ice, and her injury and tender toes seems to have brought out a rebellious animal.  (The vet cleared her for riding assuming we got her shod).

I finally figured out goat mozzarella again!  I  suspect it was the combination of citric acid, Saanen milk, and not starting with cold milk that killed it.  Good thing.  I have plenty of goat's milk.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Predators, Baby Goats, Horses and Gardens

Yesterday morning I heard a squawk and knew one of my roosters just fed the local wildlife.  It's not that I wanted that to happen, but I had a feeling that rooster was taking his chances by abandoning the pens.  A neighbor of mine had given me four roosters and I hadn't gotten around to sticking them in freezer camp.  This Easter Egger rooster had decided to be antisocial and wouldn't hang with the outside chickens.  He had been picking on my Barnevelder rooster who had been ill and I had treated him with antibiotic injections.  So, he carved out a kingdom outside the safety of the fence.  Hence I heard him get eaten.  When we moved the goats in the afternoon, I found his feathers, but no blood. 

Lisa, my pregnant doe kidded on the Sunday before Memorial Day.  She had a beautiful cream doeling and because she was so new at this, I had to help her deliver her baby.  I named her Missy after the Miscon convention we were going to that weekend.  One person at the convention said "I hope you washed your hands."  Yeah, you don't pull a doeling out of mom without cleaning up afterwards.

I've been meaning to plant a large garden, but ended up putting a bunch of plants into containers because I've been sick since Memorial Day Weekend.  To further complicate matters, my horse, Rocket, has been lame and we couldn't figure out what was causing it.  An expensive visit by the vet told us that she needed to be shod--she has tender feet.

Yesterday, we went riding since she got her new shoes-- and she became a different horse.  She still misbehaves but now wants to run everywhere.  I suspect I'll learn how she's really going to behave now that she has horseshoes on her feet.